Just when we thought we had things figured out, this comes along.

One thing that I think most of us can agree on is that when COVID-19 became a pandemic, we thought that spending time outside in the Hudson Valley was a safe way to social distance and get fresh air.

Now I'm not saying getting outside is a bad thing, but I am letting you know that while you are walking around in the Valley on a hiking trail or wherever you enjoy outside time be aware that there are a certain type of tick out there that is carrying "stuff" that, if you're bit, could infect you with symptoms that are similar to COVID-19 according to the Times Union.

If you've lived in the Hudson Valley for a while the odds say you have had some sort of contact with a tick before and now there are reports of a tick-borne illness called Anaplasmosis that is reportedly showing up in parts of New York. The problem with this form of illness, is that the symptoms are extremely similar to COVID-19.

Some of the symptoms include fever, muscle aches and respiratory failure, which are all also signs of COVID-19 and has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States this year. The carriers of Anaplasmosis, are usually Ixodes scapularis, which we know as the deer tick or black-legged tick.

The deputy director of the state Health Department’s Bureau of Communicable Disease Control Bryon Backenson told the Times Union that, “It’s a little challenging to cut through COVID (19) news,” and he wants to remind all healthcare providers that when they are diagnosing a patient, not to forget to test for tick-borne illnesses because it might be something that might get forgotten with coronavirus on everyone’s minds.

New York State had about 300 human cases of anaplasmosis back in 2009 but by 2018 public records have shown that reported cases have more than tripled.

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